Monday 18 March 2019
Nau mai, haere mai
Nga mihi nui kia koutou katoa
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
As we struggle to comprehend the events of Friday afternoon, our thoughts are with any families and communities who have been affected by what happened in Christchurch. I know we have siblings of our children who attend schools in town, past pupils who attend school in town and parents who work in Christchurch and as a small community with close connections across Canterbury, it is possible that some of us will know some of the innocent victims of Friday’s terror attack. Our thoughts and aroha go out to these members of the community.
Because of our distance from Christchurch, we did not have to go into lockdown on Friday afternoon. All our staff are trained in lockdown procedures and know what to do if we have to go into a lockdown or are advised to go into lockdown as was the case for Christchurch schools on Friday. All our children got home safely on Friday once school was finished for the day.
I am aware that trauma/anxiety can manifest in many different ways and can affect anyone, whether directly affected or not. The well-being of our children is our highest priority after an event like this – please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns for your child. I am also concerned about the well being of our staff and our families. As a school we will do our very best to help.
Here are some suggestions and support services available to support families and our community at this time. These may help you if there are conversations in your house about the event.
Parents can help their children feel safe by:
• providing reassurance and keeping to routines
• staying calm and promoting a calm environment
• doing enjoyable things together
• taking time to listen and talk.
Ministry of Education – Tips for parents and educators: Supporting children and young people – click here
How to talk to your kids about: Trauma – click here
Free Text 1737 = Free call or text anytime to speak with a trained counsellor
Advice from Nathan Wallis re supporting your children…
1. Turn off tv and media – it will reinforce the trauma
2. Show you are concerned like them, but still feel safe now. If you feel safe, they are likely too
3. Express confidence in how quickly the police responded and their ability to protect us.
4. Be esp aware of how your “tween” is responding. Eleven is a very vulnerable age for loss and grief and our eleven yr olds have already been traumatised by the quakes.
Pamper them, cuddle them, support them.
This service is available for young people and adults who would like help in supporting their young people. If you are a parent who would like help in supporting your Whanau then you are welcome to use this service.’
How to talk to children about difficult news – click here
As you will be aware there are some highly disturbing images and video footage still being circulated on various social media platforms. This material is extremely distressing. Please monitor your child’s on line activity to ensure that they are not accessing this material. Internet providers across NZ are doing their best to block this footage.
And finally, to all our families and friends look after each other and be safe. Kia Kaha.